On June 24, sixteen Bentley high school graduates celebrated their completion of high school in the Blindman Valley Ag hall filled with family and friends, teachers and staff, and dignitaries and are now moving on to contemplate their future.
The Theme chosen for the event was “Picture Your Future”.
Tables were decorated with graduate-chosen items – many with flowers or candles.
The evening started out with a full-catered meal for the graduates, and their invited guests, and staff and dignitaries provided by Bob Ronnie Catering.
Masters of Ceremonies for the banquet were grade 11’s Breanne Bickford and Ty Schneider. Caleb Schmidt said grace.
Graduates Christiana Alapo, Ally Holden, and Harley Whitfield gave a Toast to the Parents, with the reply by parents Tina Whitfield and Ian McLaren.
Ashley Cumming and Taylor Hand extended the Toast to the Teachers, with the reply by teacher Mr. Jason Hazlett.
Taylor Hand, Rachel Hyink, and Alyssa Sorensen had put together a power point with pictures of the graduates as they had been growing up.
After a short break to stand and stretch, the processional and the formal graduation ceremony followed.
School principal Mr. Lane Moore introduced the graduates one-by-one calling them up on stage.
After graduates were seated and Moore had introduced the special guests, Moore had sixteen quotes of advice for the sixteen graduates. He had assistant principal Mr. Stephen Lush help him out in a comical way.
Congratulatory messages were given by Bentley town Mayor Mrs. Lynda Haarstad-Petten, Wolf Creek trustee Mrs. Pam Hansen, and local area MLA Mr. Jason Nixon.
Then it was time for the class historians Victoria Pacholko and Billie Ruud to take center stage and talk about memories of each graduate.
Class valedictorian and Governor General Award winner, Thomas Mueller, then stepped up to the podium to thank people and mention his classmates.
Special guest speaker for the evening was Ms. Chelan Sawka from Vancouver, a relative of one of the graduates. She gave a very motivational, inspirational speech to the grads after introducing herself and explaining how determined she had to be to overcome the challenges and any adversity that had presented itself to her.
“I needed to depend on myself,” Sawka said. “Education opens doors!”
She explained that as a female at that time she had to work extra hard to be noticed and get advancement.
Sawka said, “Do not give up on your goals. You need to find your passion. You don’t want to work at something you don’t enjoy. Find your passion and follow it. Just do it!”
Then it was on to the awards / scholarship presentations.
Thomas Mueller, along with the Governor General’s Award, received the Highest Mark in Social 30 from teacher Jason Hazlett, Highest Mark in Math 30 & 31 from teacher Kyle Brown, Highest Mark in Sciences from teacher Jackie Shukin and Ag Society chair James Taylor, the Bentley Ag Society Scholarship from Jason Hazlett and Ag Society chair James Taylor, and earned the ‘PRIDE’ (school theme: Partnership/Respect/Integrity/Dedication/Excellence) Award, sponsored by the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club for the 6th year and presented by Moore and Sylvan Lake Rotary Club representative Joyce Megson. He also got a minor athletic medallion from Mr. Lush.
Victoria Pacholko received a major athletic medallion from Mr. Lush, was named the Outstanding Female Athlete (presenters Steven Lush and Royal Purple representative Brenda Valiquette) and received the ‘PRIDE’ (school theme: Partnership/Respect/Integrity/Dedication/Excellence) Award, sponsored by the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club for the 6th year and presented by Sylvan Lake Rotary Club representative Joyce Megson.
The Outstanding Male Athlete (presenters Stephen Lush and Elks representative Lynda Haarstad-Petten) was Chris McLaren. He also earned a major Athletic medallion (presenter Mr. Steve Lush) and the Wolf Creek CTS scholarship for trades presented by Mr. Moore and local school trustee Pam Hansen.
Other Major Athletic medallions were earned by Harley Whitfield, Christiana Alapo, Ashley Cumming, Victoria Pacholko, and Ally Holden from Steve Lush.
Highest Mark in English 30 went to Taylor Hand (presenter teacher Lauren Charanduk) and she all was presented with the ATA Award by Mr. Moore.
The Leadership Award went to Ashley Cumming and the Lifetouch Scholarship to Alyssa Sorensen. Both were presented by teacher Lee Varty.
Wolf Creek Scholarships for those going on to a college or university were earned by Angela Ruttan and Alyssa Sorensen, presented by Mr. Moore and local school trustee Pam Hansen.
Rachel Hyink received the Bentley Seed Cleaning Plant Scholarship (presenter Lane Moore) and a Minor Athletic medallion from Mr. Lush.
The Cheryl Screpnek Memorial Humanitarian Award (presenter Sherry Haarstad) went to Cristiana Alapo, who was also presented with a Bentley Library Society Best All Around Student Award (presenters Lane Moore and Bentley Library Society chairperson Shirley Talsma) which can be used contingent on going on into post secondary education.
The Justin Bickford Memorial Scholarship, presented by Mr. Lush and the Bickford girls, was won by Harley Whitfield, who also received a Bentley Library Society Best All Around Student Award (presenters Lane Moore and Bentley Library Society chairperson Shirley Talsma) that can be used contingent on going on into post secondary education.
For the third time PAW (Panthers at Work) Mr. Lush presented school hoodies. They went to Victoria Pacholko and Thomas Mueller for their significant contributions while attending the school.
Each graduate received their Bentley School diploma from principal Moore and MLA Nixon, then they descended the stage one by one, and were handed roses to share with their families.
Bentley 2016 graduates are: Christiana Alapo, Ashley Cumming, Taylor Hand, Rebecca Heemskerk, Alana Holden, Rachel Hyink, Gary Keller, Danica Mazerolle, Christopher McLaren, Thomas Mueller, Victoria Pacholko, Angel Ruttan, Billie Ruud, Grayson Shuflita, Alyssa Sorensen, and Harley Whitfield.
After a bit of visiting, a DJ turned up the music and the family dance began.
There was a dry grad again this year for graduates and guests, with activities like mini golf, bumper cars, paintballing, Red Deer dinner, gymnastic centre, etc. suggested as possible venues. The entire night was organized and supervised by parent volunteers and was made possible by financial help from generous donors and sponsors and fundraising.